Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about Alfred Russel Wallace.
as a deity and expected to come back again.  I have now seen a good deal of Sir James, and the more I see of him the more I admire him.  With the highest talents for government he combines the greatest goodness of heart and gentleness of manner.  At the same time he has such confidence and determination, that he has put down with the greatest ease some conspiracies of one or two Malay chiefs against him.  It is a unique case in the history of the world, for a European gentleman to rule over two conflicting races of semi-savages with their own consent, without any means of coercion, and depending solely upon them for protection and support, and at the same time to introduce the benefits of civilisation and check all crime and semi-barbarous practices.  Under his government, “running amuck,” so frequent in all other Malay countries, has never taken place, and with a population of 30,000 Malays, all of whom carry their “creese” and revenge an insult by a stab, murders do not occur more than once in five or six years.

The people are never taxed but with their own consent, and Sir J.’s private fortune has been spent in the government and improvement of the country; yet this is the man who has been accused of injuring other parties for his own private interests, and of wholesale murder and butchery to secure his government!...—­Your ever affectionate son,

ALFRED R. WALLACE.

* * * * *

TO HIS SISTER, MRS. SIMS

Singapore..  February 20, 1856.

My dear Fanny,—­ ...  I have now left Sarawak, where I began to feel quite at home, and may perhaps never return to it again; but I shall always look back with pleasure to my residence there and to my acquaintance with Sir James Brooke, who is a gentleman and a nobleman in the noblest sense of both words....

Charles has left me.  He has stayed with the Bishop of Sarawak, who wants teachers and is going to try to educate him for one.  I offered to take him on with me, paying him a fair price for all the insects, etc., he collected, but he preferred to stay.  I hardly know whether to be glad or sorry he has left.  It saves me a great deal of trouble and annoyance, and I feel it quite a relief to be without him.  On the other hand, it is a considerable loss for me, as he had just begun to be valuable in collecting.  I must now try and teach a China boy to collect and pin insects.  My collections in Borneo have been very good, but some of them will, I fear, be injured by the long voyages of the ships.  I have collected upwards of 25,000 insects, besides birds, shells, quadrupeds, and plants.  The day I arrived here a vessel sailed for Macassar, and I fear I shall not have another chance for two months unless I go a roundabout way, and perhaps not then, so I have hardly made up my mind what to do,—­Your affectionate brother,

ALFRED R. WALLACE.

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Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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